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November 29, 2011
Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak, the City of Winnipeg's Aboriginal Youth Strategy celebrates the successes and achievements of Aboriginal Youth in Winnipeg

Released: 4:28 p.m.

NEWS @ A GLANCE:

Today, Elder Jules Lavallee, Mayor Sam Katz, partner organizations and community members attended the 2011 Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak Next Step Award and Post Secondary Scholarship Awards presentation in the Mayor's Foyer, City Hall. (for more details, please read the full media release below)

WINNIPEG - November 29, 2011 - Today, Elder Jules Lavallee, Mayor Sam Katz, partner organizations and community members attended the 2011 Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak Next Step Award and Post Secondary Scholarship Awards presentation in the Mayor's Foyer, City Hall. The event recognized the successes and achievements of Aboriginal youth who are preparing to take the next steps in employment and education.

"This is what it's all about, engaging youth to take responsibility for their own lives. We have talked the talked, now here we are today, walking the walk. It was the youth who said that we need to acknowledge them. They need our support for their development. Youth will react when they are referred to as leaders of today as much as the leaders of tomorrow," said Elder Jules Lavallee.

"As Mayor and Secretary of Urban Aboriginal Affairs I am proud to be here for the Oshki Annishinabe Niganniwak celebration because it is truly a celebration of our future leaders," said Mayor Sam Katz. "Since 2008, The City of Winnipeg has contributed $1 million annually to the Aboriginal Youth Strategy to ensure we are a City honouring our commitment to develop opportunities so Winnipeg's young Aboriginal community can reach their full potential."

The Next Step Award was designed by an Aboriginal Youth intern who identified a gap in the existing scholarships, bursaries and other employment and education based supports currently available in the community. The Next Step Award provides support to Aboriginal Youth to attend training and/or to acquire equipment, tools or uniforms required when starting a new job. This award is open to Aboriginal youth that participate in programs offered by organizations that partner with Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak. These youth are nominated to receive these awards by their host organization. This year, 15 Aboriginal youth received a Next Step Award.

The Post-Secondary Scholarships are open to Aboriginal youth living in Winnipeg and who are registered with a post secondary institution. Scholarships are in the amount $1,000.00 and are applied to tuition. This year, 10 Aboriginal youth received a scholarship from Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak to further their education.

Since 2010, $19,000 in Next Step Awards and $20,000 in post secondary scholarships has been made accessible to Aboriginal youth living in Winnipeg, to enable their pursuit of higher learning and employment opportunities.

Backgrounder:

In 2008, City Council adopted Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak, the City of Winnipeg's Aboriginal Youth Strategy (AYS); an innovative program designed to increase positive opportunities for Aboriginal youth in the community and the Civic service. Responsive to the specific needs of Winnipeg's Aboriginal youth, Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak provides Aboriginal youth access to employment and employment development opportunities, recreation and culturally based programming, as well as literacy based initiatives.

Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak- (pronounced Awsh-kay Anish-a-nob-bay nee-ga-nee-walk) is the spirit name given to the Aboriginal Youth Strategy by Elders in the community. It means Young Aboriginal People Leading and pays tribute to Aboriginal youth as leaders of today as well as tomorrow.

Accomplishments achieved with community based initiatives include:

  • 809 Aboriginal youth participated in employment-based programs
  • 470 participants graduated or completed their program
  • 181 job specific certificates obtained, including GED upgrading
  • 142 participants secured or pursued employment
  • 86 participants went on to further their education
  • 68 participants obtained identification or opened bank accounts
  • 16,711 participant visits to supported recreation program at a community facility

Accomplishments achieved with civic based initiatives include:

  • 422 Aboriginal youth involved in civic employment specific initiatives including 80 summer career camps participants, 19 interns and 24 Next Step Awards recipients
  • 20 Aboriginal youth received Aboriginal Youth Post Secondary Scholarships
  • 503 participant visits to Library's Elder-in-Residence and Princess White Dove programs
  • 1,295 participants or participant visits to recreation initiatives within City facilities

The annual funding commitment of $1 million provided by council since 2008 enables the continued and effective delivery of community programming by the urban Aboriginal community. It also ensures access to culturally relevant employment, and recreation and literacy opportunities that will have a positive and life-long impact on Winnipeg's urban Aboriginal youth.


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Last update: 30.11.2011

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